Monday Morning

A Story and a Prompt for You!

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It’s Monday. It’s summer. There is a laid back feeling even in the times of the Corona virus.

Yesterday was filled with writing, running, a coach session, and great conversations. It was also a reminder that I am too hard on myself and I am impatient.

One of the takeaways from my coaching session yesterday was that I light up when I talk about the workshops that I teach and the adventures with my kids. I will be sharing more about those two areas of my life in my newsletter and this blog in the coming weeks.

If you still need to sign up for my newsletter, you can click here!

This week we are taking the kids canoeing on the Wisconsin River. We have tried to go before but have run into obstacles like a too high river in Indiana. Hopefully, no issues this time.

One of the best parts of the adventures with the kids are the crazy things they say that I write down. Every Christmas, we make a photo album of the year’s adventures. These are not always trips either. We play games and create things inside the house as well. The book is also filled with fun things everyone has said. Often you will hear someone say, “Put that in the notes!”

While in the car last week my youngest said randomly from the backseat, “It illegal to die in some places.” Which, of course, was met with, “WHAT?” In fact, this is true, and he learned it on YouTube. Someplace they were running out of graves and made it illegal to die, at least on the books. Then he called the graves, “grave houses.” This comment led to a discussion of how in New Orleans they bury people above ground.

I have a writing prompt for you today.

I have a book I ordered during the lockdown called Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises From Today’s Best Writers and Teachers. I finally cracked it open last night and dove into an exercise. Every couple of pages there is a new prompt. I did one pertaining to surrealism by Laurie Foos. It is noted you can do this exercise with a group, or alone.

If you do the prompt on your own, you are not allowed to look ahead!

Choose a verb that ends in -ing, then a body part, and an inanimate object.

Go ahead…I’ll wait. Now write them down before you read on!

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Now, put your words into this sentence: After a long day of verbing, he/she discovered that his/her body part had grown insert inanimate object.

I had fun with mine and after a long day of transcribing my character had a mirror that had grown out of his arm. It led to a weird little story about being to infinitely able to see into illusions and dreams.

I have published my book on Amazon. You can check that out here.

Summer Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation

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It is the weekend again! Summer is moving along. We have been engrossed in it for a week now. Have you done anything fun?

I am having black coffee today since I am fasting. I have some creamer and some other flavors. Would you like ice water today? It has been hot here. I do love these mugs though. I bought some after I had coffee in them at a coffee shop back in Indiana.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we went to a water park for Father’s Day. Because of corona and the ripple effect, there were only about 6 rides open. It was a beautiful sunny 80-degree day. Because of my Back to Zero program, I was not embarrassed to be in a swimsuit. By the time we go camping at the end of July, I will be back to the weight and look want to be. We rode the slides until we didn’t feel like it anymore. We ate in the park because the meal deals came with our tickets. Then we of course stopped for ice cream. I am going to have to call this the ICE CREAM Share by the time summer is over.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am taking a writing class this week and couldn’t be more thrilled. After I read the first story on Monday morning I was blown away with how wonderful all the writing is from the other participants. There was one It was one flash piece that stuck with me all day and I kept going back to reread it. The exercises are ones that I can come back to again and again. The instructor has at least 5 example stories for each day, most of which were new to me. I also appreciated the mini video explanations that she included this time as well. It was so worth the money but her classes always are.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my story was published in a book! Here is the link to purchase. I am super excited to have a story and an essay now in a real book. I loved this story too called APP WORLD and had fun writing it.

If we were having coffee I would tell you a poem was published this week. You can read it here.It is called Window of Time.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I published an article about closing gaps in Teachers on Fire magazine. Even if you aren’t a teacher, summer is a time to learn something new or take an action to become more of the person you want to be. You can click and read that here.

If we were having coffee I would tell you we went to the beach this week. We played in the water, jumped off the pier, and enjoyed the beautiful day. Of course, there was ice cream involved before we set back home.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you a friend through Unleashing Her Power Within just launched her website. Her first post is up and it is amazing! Check that out here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the kids and I went to a fun tourist attraction called the TOP SECRET Upside Down House. The kids’ reactions were the best. There was a photo op before we went in of course. They each got little secret agent cards. Then we went to lunch. It was an adventure.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you a writing friend and I have decided to check in with each other more often. We have been giving feedback to each other’s writing the last couple of weeks and I am glad to welcome her to my inner circle of writing! I was thrilled she reached out.

What is new with you this week? What decisions have you made to move forward?

I would love to hear. Til next week’s coffee time!

Who Are Your Five People?

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On a creative group Zoom call last evening the idea that you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you came up. I have thought a lot about this idea since I heard it about a year ago.

I waver back and forth as to my belief in this statement. I do believe there is a circle of concern for the people that are closest to me. There is also a circle of influence that flows both ways. I influence others and they influence me. (Covey, anyone?)

I do know that I am more creative and business minded with my writing since I became part of my creative group last fall. The women in that group are all over the country and have perspective and know me in a way no one in my real life does.

[As an aside here – Does this phrasing bother anyone else? If my friends are online it is still my real life – I abhor the idea that since I am not in the same room they are not real! I vow to stop using it now.]

I have education people, writing people, creative people, personal people. Only a couple of them overlap.

Do you know who your five people are?

I challenge you to make that list today. Writing it down may surprise you.

Holiday Coffee Share

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Please support me and read this post here.

This is a busy week of holidays and family – for you too I am sure.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have had some heavy conversations this week. It comes with the time of year I suppose with the year end reflections. I am planning some big things for 2020 especially in the area of teaching. I am taking my strengths and running with them. Stay tuned for more details.

If were having coffee I would tell you I am going to stop trying to run at the dunes by myself. I am bombarded with memories I do not wish to relive when I am there by myself and I cannot do it anymore. I love the trees and the area but can no longer go there alone.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I miss Amy Krouse Rosentahl. I loved her work. Here is a TED talk you need to watch.

Would you like a refill? Maybe some water?

If we were having coffee I would want to talk about New Year’s Eve parties — have you ever hosted one? A long time ago I wanted to have a heaven and hell party — decorate upstairs white and airy and the downstairs in black and red. If I were to throw a bash on New Year’s Eve, which I haven’t done in ages, who would I invite? I would want it to be a memorable evening.

Neil Gaiman — I love all his writing and would love to hear him talk. I wouldn’t mind a road trip with him either. He seems to have loads of stories to tell.

Kelly Link — Love her writing and would love to hear about her book seller days — past and present.

Matthew McConaughey —no explanation necessary

Hemingway — I want to hear the stories and find out which of his stories are his favorite.

Who would you invite? Would you have a theme?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I do not appreciate the non winter like weather. It is 51 degrees and there is no snow. It is not right.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am exhausted. It has been a crazy week of activity. We went to the Kalahari water park resort for the holiday as part of the gifts for the kids. I was excited to ride the surf machine they have there. I did well but ended up doing a front flip which made everyone laugh. It was fun but I am glad to be home now.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the week between Christmas and New Year’s always seems strange. I forget which day it is and what I am supposed to be doing. I will be reading and writing and preparing for my self imposed 100 day challenge.A 100 Rejections ChallengeMy First 100 Day Challenge of 2020medium.com

If we were having coffee I would tell you I hope this past week was full of sparkly moments! I would love to hear about them and what is important to you this week.)

WRITTEN BY

Tammy Breitweiser

Tammy is force of nature; woman of honor; seer of nuance; ; & an accidental inspirationalist who writes. https://mailchi.mp/e19e03e6cd33/tammynews

#FMF Success

success

Kate posts a new word every Friday to use as the topic of a 5 minute freewrite. Set the timer and WRITE!

I have been successful my entire life in the traditional sense. I set goals and achieve them. Until I was 40 this seemed like a cut and dry process. In my mind, the traditional route of study-graduate-college-graduate-marry-job-family was made clear to me.

Success was notches on a time line.

My definition of success is different now. A successful day is time to write and connect with my writing communities. It is sharing a morning coffee ritual with my husband. It is life giving conversations in the context of my coaching work and life. It is great food and laughter. It is learning.

Lately the idea of healing has come up for me mostly through the ppportunity to be part of an Artist’s Way community. If you are unaware, The Artist’s Way is a book and program created by Julia Cameron for creative recovery. There are two main parts of this program: morning pages and the artist date. You can read more about my first 6 weeks here.The Truth About Creative RecoveryMy first 6 weeks with the Artist’s Waymedium.com

Part of the program is affirmation work. I do not like affirmations because I feel they are inauthentic. I have tried to work with them before and made a good effort but it never felt right. With an accountability group I have not allowed myself to pick and choose pieces of the weekly tasks which means some hard emotional stuff has come up for me, especially about my childhood. (The visualization of a terrible therapist asking me about how I feel about my childhood pops up often!) I do have mantras I repeat to myself however. But then something changed. I read Sam Kimberle’s post about her work with affirmations and decided to try an experiment.

This week I have been working with the affirmation, I allow myself to heal. I was reminded I used to have an intention I would write over and over. Whatever you call them, the truth was being brought to the forefront like a fire licking my brain.

The takeaway here? It came to me during this freewrite that the reason The Artist’s Way is successful for me this time is because the real recovery I needed from AW was healing. Healing from my childhood, healing from toxic relationships, healing from doubts and imposter syndrome, healing from me getting in my own way.

The bottom line is I am a paid writer. I will be a paid author once I get my books published. (REVISION OCTOBER) I share my writing and interact with readers. That is success.

I have an abundance of love in my life. That is success.

My new definition is more a content feeling and determination to grow rather than ticks on a timeline and I must say, I am a hell of a lot happier.

Sam is hosting more book clubs if you want to be part of the process.

2020 Book Club AnnouncementAn invitation to join my Book Club, starting in January 2020medium.com

Here is Sam’s post on affirmationsHow I Use AffirmationsAnd some suggestions if you would like to try, too.medium.com

You Can Read This Post and Support Me on Medium Here

No April Fools

Today is the anniversary of my Oma’s death. Oma is grandma in German. It was more than a label though. It was her name. I was in the beginning of my teaching career and was looking forward to coming home to spend time with family over my year 2000 spring break. I was downstairs writing on the computer when the phone rang. From the caller ID I saw it was my mother.

“Hello.”

“Tammy, Oma’s gone.”

“Where did she go?”

I thought she had gotten mad at my Opa and just took the car and left.

“No, Tammy, she is gone. In her sleep.”

Honestly, I don’t remember much of the rest of the school year. I apparently called the teachers on my team to tell them. I remember trying to be calm and leave a message but was told later I was hysterical.

My Oma was like my mom. I spent all my time at her house til I was 5 and forced to go to kindergarten not in the town where they lived. Every vacation and weekend until I was in 8th grade was spent at my Oma’s house.

I remember Sunday dinner at your house. It was almost always the same menu yet seemed different all the time. Roast and gravy, “green stuff”, and boiled potatoes.

I remember laughing when we went to King’s Island and she was so silly.

I remember her making whirlpools in the swimming pool with us every summer.

I remember how scared she was during thunderstorms and how she would wake me up to go downstairs. It reminded her of the war in Germany.

I remember driving to O’hare airport to pick up my cousin from Germany so many summers and the awesome times we had.

I remember her getting the door slammed on her and dropping the German honey cake. She was so mad.

I remember her saying, “Shut the door we are not air conditioning the whole outside!”

I remember her German lullaby before I went to sleep.

I remember being in IKEA and hearing a little girl call her grandma “OMA” and how I looked for my Oma and then smiled remembering her.

I remember her German bible on the glass coffee table that I now have.

I remember today and every day how much I miss you. There is so much I wish I could tell you. I love you!

Right Now #SOLC Day 30

I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge for the month of March! We are almost to the end. Head over to twowritingteachers.org to check out some other great blogs.

Today I am using a format from fellow blogger Terje @ Just for A Month.

Right now I am

::sitting in the bed. I do not have to go anywhere today and it is glorious!

::watching the computer screen light up to greet me me hello! We are going to spend a lot of time together over the next week.

::sensing a nap coming on mid morning.

::drinking perfect hot black coffee – only on cup one right now.

::listening to the rain ping off the roof and flow down the gutters. The birds are twittering all about it.

::finding my thoughts centering around the Neil Gaiman interview on Tim Ferris’ podcast. That episode has stuck with me. Neil is my new go to author for essays for my Bradbury Trio. I have his book of nonfiction essays.

::hearing the quiet of the morning – no alarm, no children awake yet!

::feeling thankful for my job and spring break and writing and writing community

::appreciating the love of family in my life and spending time with them

::looking forward to resting over the next week! I also have a good writing day scheduled on Monday. A real life meeting and a Zoom writing meeting.

::wondering about what I am going to write today.

::doubting I will move much today!

::admiring how much my oldest son loves baseball. He is dedicated to his team and has played two games for this season already.

::realizing that next week is my Oma’s death anniversary.

::tapping on the keys of the Chromebook is a satisfying sound

::remembering to appreciated the moment I am in and not to wish away the ones I have.

::missing nothing right now.

::worrying about money stuff but right now I cannot do anything about it.

::deciding to do #CAMPNANOWRIMO I am glad it is less restrictive. I have a (kinda) plan and I write anyway so hopefully it will be ok! ha!

::leaning on my husband as always. I am also leaning on my writing communities. I have needed them this month, more than they know!

::sending sunshine and llama love out to everyone who reads my blog

::wishing  to have a wonderful relaxing and day full of laughter, togetherness, reading, and writing!

Keeping A Notebook #SOLC Day 11


I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Challenge. Teachers all over the world are posting on their blogs daily and at the TWT blog and then comment on at least 3 posts. There are lots of teacher-writers there I follow regularly and I have already met new ones.

Yesterday I was a gymnastics meet and was able to write in my notebook a lot in between my daughter’s events. I love a peek into other people’s notebooks and therefore their processes. I love the podcasts Keeping a Notebook from Nina LaCour and How Do You Write from Rachael Herron for this reason.

If there is a post with the word NOTEBOOK in it I am clicking every time so I thought I would share a glance into my brain that has too many drawers open with you!

Here is a list of what I put in my notebook yesterday:

  1. List of stories to find and ideas for blog posts for the month.
  2. Logged a prank my daughter played on my husband and I to put into a story.
  3. Tarot card reflections.
  4. Logged title of short story I read.
  5. Logged title of essay I read.
  6. Snippets from the 4 hour drive on Saturday to put in my compost pile for writing. One of which is the fact that 5 deer came running down in this hilly section of winding road. They all stopped at the road and waited for the cars to stop THEN ran across through the stream to the other side. It was wild and beautiful!
  7. Writing practice with the stems: I KNOW and I DON’T KNOW
  8. All the event scores and places for my daughter.
  9. start of 2 poems
  10. Planning for a story centered around a character named Ansil.
  11. List of names – first and last to mix and match
  12. Notes from a podcast about patterns.
  13. Play with verbs as an anchor concept for characters.

Do you keep a notebook?

Dinner Out #SOLC Day 2

Last night my husband met me at school and we drove the 15 minutes to a local supper club that is known for its prime rib. I had been there many times before but it was the first time for my hubby.

There is a cheese spread that is brought to the table with crackers and bread. There are these little flatbreads with black sesame seeds that I love. I had salad with garlic dressing. My date had a wedge salad with blue cheese and bacon that I stole a bite of that was amazing.

The dinner of prime rib and brisket was delicious. It wasn’t quite as good as I remembered but still nice.

The conversation flowed and it was nice to have a dinner out. In a past life, I used to come to this restaurant for birthdays and Mother’s day and general celebrations. I think it has been over 5 years since I was there last.

I am looking forward to a low key day. We had a lockdown for over 2 hours Friday afternoon at school which was a little stressful.

What are some of your favorite places to eat? Are there places you always go for celebrations?

February Reflection

It is the last day of February which means it is time to reflect. Last year it was FIB – uary so luckily that was not the case in 2019.

In February, I participated in INCOWRIMO which is a letter writing challenge. The challenge is set up to send a letter every day but I didn’t. I wrote several and received responses back. It was nice to get real mail again. I missed my stationary collection I used to have but used my fountain pens a lot.

In February, I reconnected with my old home. It was great to drive around Kokomo and think about the great memories I experienced there. If you would like to read that post you can here.

In February, I connected with a writing/teaching friend from Twitter in real life. We met at a local Panera and talked writing and poetry and teaching. We are planning a writing meeting soon.

In February, I connected with more readers on the blog! I am now at over 1000 followers and am super excited. I also posted a survey to better serve my readers. I commented on posts that spoke to me and had some lovely conversation in comments and on Twitter.

In February, I connected with other writing communities through #write28days and IWSG. I was active with my Storyaday Superstars group every day. I did not attend my in real life writing group.

At the beginning of February, I attended a coaching training and enjoyed talking with other coaches and educators from the region. I was able to hand out my business cards for the first time which was exciting.

In February, I emailed several authors I admire. I also didn’t hesitate to send messages to people who wrote pieces I enjoyed.

Yesterday I met some of my husband’s family which was lovely. I was able to go to a cute coffee shop which was a bonus.

In February, I became a part of Emily P Freeman’s Book Launch Team. The book is released on April 2! I just received the full book yesterday and cannot wait to dig in.

In February, what happened? One thing is I feel more connected to people. I facilitated a Workshop Wednesday this month which was fantastic. There was lots of sharing and great discussion about checks for understanding BUT the next day was difficult because I was tired and felt depleted. I have to figure out some strategies to have that not occur.

Moving forward I have new exciting changes that are coming. I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Blog Challenge. I will continue to write daily and to submit short stories.

Writing Prompt: How would you finish the sentence starter: In February…